BistroMD Health Library

Get excited about reading again with fun and interesting tips from our experts, including The M.D., our dietitians, and our fitness expert. In our health library, you will find all of the information you need to achieve your goals of making a healthy lifestyle change. So, start reading and start losing!

Fitness and Health

Fitness and health go hand in hand, and this section of our health library is devoted to exploring the relationship between these two very important aspects of life.

The 10 Best Ways to Burn Belly Fat

If that stubborn belly fat around your mid-section seems to be lurking around more than you would like, there are a few simple tweaks you can make to lose it once and for all!

The 10 Best Ways to Burn Belly Fat


How to Lose Belly Fat Fast

1. Start the Day with Breakfast
Though the ruling is still out on whether or not breakfast actually is the most important meal of the day, nutrition experts suggest that morning meal can benefit metabolism and weight loss immensely. First off, breakfast helps stabilize and boost energy levels, which may heighten productivity and motivation levels right from the very beginning. Additionally, consuming a well-balanced meal in the morning hours can result to more healthful choices throughout the day’s entirety.

2. Increase Protein
While dieters alike envision protein to be the holy grail of weight loss, there is a strong value for its hefty inclusion in the diet. Consuming lean and plant-based proteins with each meal and snack helps regulates appetite and combats cravings, which lessens the risk of overeating on innutritious foods. Protein consistently supports muscle growth and mass, subsequently bolstering metabolism, particularly in combination with weight and resistance training (keep reading for workout guidance).

3. And Increase Fiber
Dietary fiber is solely found in plant products, including nutritious whole grains, vegetables, and fruits. But consuming fiber not only promotes digestive and heart health, but offers satiety similar to the fashion of protein. And not to mention, individuals who consume adequate fiber are more likely to obtain and sustain a healthy weight! Women and men are advised to consume a minimum of 25 and 38 grams of fiber per day, respectively.

4. Incorporate Belly Burning Foods
While there is not a single food that burns fat per se, there are unique foods that have shown to speed up metabolism. For instance, coffee (no, not those fancy coffee drinks decorated with syrups and creams) may suppress the appetite and initiate thermogenesis, a process in which the body converts energy into heat, subsequently speeding up metabolism. Caffeinated coffee is a valuable, natural alternative to pre-workout drinks to supply the body with extra energy to hit the gym and tackle a rigorous workout. Green tea, hot peppers, and cinnamon have also shown to speed up metabolism.

5. Cut Out Sugar
While it was previously jingled to "help the medicine go down," sugar is actually driving overweight and obesity rates up... The American Heart Association (AHA) estimates Americans consume an average of 20 teaspoons each day, or an approximate 80 grams, which is quite startling considering their recommendation of no more than 38 and 25 grams of sugar per day for men and women, respectively. Along with cutting out and reducing the obvious (looking at you cookies, donuts, snack cakes, muffins, and other sweet treats…), be aware of the ways food companies hide sugar contents. Moreover, stop your sugar addiction by distracting yourself from sugary temptations, knowing your triggers and limits, controlling emotions that lead to emotional eating, and going for more naturally sweetened foods such as fruit.

6. Moderate Alcohol
It is called a "beer belly" for a reason… When trying to lose weight, liquid calories in the forms of sugary sodas and alcoholic beverages are often canned first. Men should moderate alcohol consumption to more than two drink servings per day, while women are limited to one beverage. Also be mindful of the mixers used if you do decide to drink, as they are often filled with nothing more than sugar and empty calories.

7. Exercise Regularly
An effective belly fat burn does not have to require hours upon hours at the gym, as intense bursts of movements such as high-intensity interval training (HIIT) has shown to be successful for weight and fat loss. For exercises to help you lose weight, body fat, and inches, complete this speedy, 30-minute boot camp or tabata workout. Tabata is a form of HIIT that focuses on maximum exertion in sporadic intervals, with the short bursts of intensive movement contributing to calorie burn and the "afterburn effect," or simply the burning of calories following rigorous exercise.

However, cardio and weight lifting should complement one another and individuals should incorporate strength and resistance training to their workout regimen at least two or three times each week. Adding and lifting weight helps support muscle mass, in turn revving metabolism and allowing calories to be burned more efficiently. Individuals who carry more muscle mass have a faster metabolism, as every pound of muscle requires approximately six calories a day to purely sustain itself, while each pound of fat burns only two calories daily. Ultimately, dismiss a sedentary lifestyle and get active!

8. Drink Water
Although coffee and tea have shown to be effective for belly fat burn, water continues to be the fluid of choice across the board. Water is critical in sustaining life, the medium in which calories are able to convert to usable energy from ingested foods, and required to support an efficient metabolism. And since thirst is oftentimes mistaken for hunger, staying hydrated can lessen the likelihood of heading to the kitchen and overeating. General recommendations advise healthy men and women to drink at least eight, 8-ounce glasses of water per day, including before and with meals and during exercise.

9. Manage Stress
If you find yourself eating healthy, exercising regularly, and gaining weight still, there may be a pesky culprit plotting against you… Stress. During stress, our bodies store fuel and energy, slow down metabolism and dump out harmful chemicals such as cortisol, which makes it easier to accumulate belly fat. Some individuals tend turn to food as a coping mechanism (and often not towards a bowlful of veggies…). Stress can also start impeding on sleep cycles, which is detailed right below. Manage stress by practicing stress-relieving techniques and break the cycle of stress and weight gain!

10. Sleep
Whereas the average American obtains an average of six hours of sleep, the National Sleep Foundation encourages adults to sleep seven to nine hours per night. But inadequate sleep results to much than mental consequences, as research shows individuals who lose out on sleep are more likely to gain weight. The relationship between sleep loss and weight gain may be related to elevated hunger hormones, heightening the risk of overeating, and plummeted energy, which may compromise regular workouts to burn belly fat. Create a healthy bedtime routine to mitigate the risks of weight gain!

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